Epidemic thriller starring Matt Damon and Jude Law
You might think twice about holding the rail on the bus after seeing Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. It’s an engrossing dramatic thriller about a sudden worldwide epidemic of a disease that makes Bird Flu look like nappy rash. The progress of the epidemic, the names of cities and the size of populations flash on screen as the sudden death of corporate manager and suburban wife and mother Beth (Paltrow) on her return from a business trip to Hong Kong sets alarm bells ringing and the mortality rate soaring. Her husband (Damon) might be immune, but he’s desperate for his daughter to stay well and safe. The film plays with our suspicions, puncturing worries that this is going to be a Western tale of ‘yellow peril’ or to include a moral twist linked to the infidelity of one of the first victims. Neither materialise, though the epilogue edges into wishy-washy anti-globalisation territory, but mostly it’s a level-headed, energetic and enjoyable tale of terror and a world gone wrong.